September 20, 2019

Much Anticipated Film 'Bulbul Can Sing' Releases

Award-winning filmmaker Rima Das' Assamese film 'Bulbul Can Sing' has hit the theatres in Assam on September 20, ahead of its pan-India release on September 27. 

In fact, it came as a major surprise when Rima Das announced during her interaction with the media that her film, which has received 13 awards, including the National Award for Best Feature Film in Assamese and screened in 40 film festivals from across the globe, has been submitted for selection as an entry for the Academy Awards. 

I’m hopeful that people here would like the film. I have received some really encouraging feedbacks from different quarters of the world. Besides, the film was also screened in different festivals in India where viewers from Assam were also present and they liked it,” Das said during the press conference held soon after the film’s screening at the PVR, City Centre, Guwahati.

Das said she did not get enough time to promote the film but hoped the audience will support and accept the film with the same enthusiasm and goodwill as they did for ‘Village Rockstar’.

The film must be released by September 28 for being considered as an Oscar entry and that is why we have planned to release the film early”, she added.

“We have got less screening space than 'Village Rockstar', but I am sure that if people accept ‘Bulbul Can Sing’, arrangements can be made to screen the film in every part of the state
”, she explained. Das further said that she considers it to be “her responsibility to release the film first in Assam and then across the country”.

The universally acclaimed ‘Village Rockstars’, which bagged the Best Feature Film Award at the 65th National Film Awards, was the country’s official entry to the Oscars last year.

‘Bulbul Can Sing’ premiered at the Toronto Film Festival where it received the Jury's Special Mention Award, as well as the Golden Gateway award in the India Gold section of the 20th Mumbai Film Festival.

The film narrates the story of Bulbul, a teenage girl, who grows up in a rural Assam set up. While she is on the verge of discovering her adolescent life, a tragedy strikes her best friend. A spirited Bulbul, then, fights her way through love and loss as she figures out who she really is. The film features Arnali Das, Bonita Thakuriya, Manoranjan Das, Manabendra Das and Pakija Begam, among others. Like her previous ventures, here too, Das is a one-woman film production team, doing the camerawork, editing and production design herself, as well as writing, directing and producing. 

“The film has been very special for me as a filmmaker and I am sure the teenagers will identify themselves in it. It is not a simple narrative as ‘Village Rockstars’, but the characters are very real, who experience the pangs of growing up before they understand the values of life,” she told during the press meet. Both ‘Village Rockstars’ and ‘Bulbul Can Sing’ portray strong women characters at its heart.

The filmmaker said that she is making a sequel to the ‘Village Rockstar’, which may not have the same name and plans to begin its shooting from early next year.

Prantik Deka.

September 17, 2019

Renowned Filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi to Grace GIFF 2019

The famous Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi is expected to attend the Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) 2019, which will commence from October 31 this year. 

The third edition of GIFF will conclude on November 6, 2019.

A total of over 100 films from more than 65 countries will be screened at the film festival this year.

The staff of Jyoti Chitraban which organizes the film festival are delighted that Zanussi will be one of the important guests of the week-long event.

A one-time physics scholar, Krzysztof Zanussi, renowned for films such as ‘Camouflage’ and ‘Family Life’, is probably one of the most intellectual, intelligent, purest and most detached (but also deeply passionate) directors of our time. His heroes, mostly during times of historical and political unrest in Central Europe, seek for purity, morale and meaning in their lives and in their relationships that are irrespective of the era and the society. 

Zanussi's films cannot be considered along any clearly defined track or trend in Polish or international film making. As a director, he is not subject to others' tastes or styles. “My films are derived primarily from literature, and are a kind of human speech. The idea of visual cinema has always raised my doubts,” he once said.

The 80-year-old filmmaker has been involved in teaching film making in many prestigious institutes across the world. A professor at the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, he also teaches at Warsaw Film School and serves as director of TOR Film Production.

The filmmaker also served as the Chairman of the Polish Federation of Film Discussion Clubs from 1975 to 1977. He has also authored several books.

Prantik Deka.

September 16, 2019

Assamese Short Film ‘Protyush’ Making Waves

Assamese short film ‘Protyush(Ushering a Crack of Dawn) has been officially selected for screening at the prestigious SiGNS Film Festival 2019 to be held in Thrissur, Kerala, from September 26 to 30, 2019. SiGNS is a pioneering festival in India featuring national level competition for documentaries and short fiction for the prestigious John Abraham National Awards. 

The film, directed by Arindam Barooah, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Rita Bhuyan Barooah, is an emotive tale, revolving around a woman struggling against poverty and her fight to raise her two school-going children.

Problems of the proverty stricken family aggravates when the sole bread earner of the family - her husband, meets an untimely death leaving the woman behind with two young children at her care. She has been left with only two options – either to employ her children as child labourers to get over their poor economic conditions, or take the challenging course that outrightly rejects the societal norms of rural India.

The film stars Jahnobi Gogoi, Kironmoyee Borah, Rishav Ritam Gogoi, Anisha Dutta, Anupam Dutta, Manash Protim Chetia,  Nayan Jyoti Deka, Jyoti Dutta and Karabi Kalita. The cinematography for the film has been done by Rishika Baruah, Bhaskar Jyoti Dutta and Prabhat Das, background score has been provided by Kukil Pratim Saikia and Gaurav Rabha, editing has been done by Arshad Ahmed and Arindam Barooah. The dialogues are penned by Rita Bhuyan Barooah and Nibir Akash Baruah, while Jyoti Chetia has done the sound of the film. 

Director Arindam Barooah has made a number of short films that have been recognised in a number of film festivals. This film is no exception. ‘Protyush’ has picked up quite a few awards in the festivals, including the awards for Best Short Film, Best Director and Best Editor at the Borluit Short Film Festival 2019 in Jorhat and Special Festival Mention at the prestigious 9th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival 2019, held in Delhi.  In addition to this, the film was screened at the Second Nagaon International Short and Documentary Film Festival 2019, Bengaluru International Short Film Festival – 19, 9th Gujarat International Film Festival – 19, etc.

Prantik Deka.

September 15, 2019

Adil Hussain Starrer ‘Raahgir-The Wayfarers’ to Have its World Premiere at Busan

Goutam Ghose will be presenting his film titled ‘Raahgir-The Wayfarers’ at the Busan Film Festival. His film, starring Adil Hussain, Tillotama Shome, Neeraj Kabi and Omkar Das Manikpuri, will have a world premiere on October 21.

‘Raahgir-The Wayfarers’ is a story about three strangers — Nathuni, Lakhua and Chopatlal. They meet accidentally on a journey and eventually, establish a bond. The film, which is based on a short story by Prafulla Roy, has been shot extensively in and around Jharkand last year. 

Talking about the world premiere, Goutam said, “I haven’t visit festivals in recent times. There was a time when I was a regular. But I will be there at the Busan Film Festival to present my film. There will be a question-answer round too. It feels nice for the cast and crew when a film makes it to prestigious film festivals. I am happy with the news.

According to Goutam, his film is a “tale of human empathy during a time of crisis”. “Three strangers, who meet on a journey to the nearest town in search of their livelihood, form the crux of the plot. It is a humane story of common people and their humanity and how they sacrifice their own interests to save the life of a poor elderly couple. I thought it is pertinent to make a film on this subject in today’s world where humanity faces a crisis, where everyone is so intolerant and cruel,” said the director.

Incidentally, the cast has already been praised for their performance. “A friend, who is a European film distributor, watched my film and asked if I had got villagers to act. I guess that’s the biggest compliment. I believe that good acting is all about making it believable. I am so happy that all my actors in this film were so dedicated and gave their best,” said the director.

Prantik Deka.

September 14, 2019

Assamese Film ‘Aamis’ Bags Major Awards in Singapore

Assamese film ‘Aamis’, directed by the National Award-winning filmmaker Bhaskar Hazarika, has recently garnered two major awards at the 3rd Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) 2019. 

Hazarika bagged the Best Director award and the film’s leading actress Lima Das bagged the Best Actor (Female) award at the festival.

The film festival, which took place from August 30 to September 7, 2019, displayed some of the finest films of South Asia.

Aamis’ depicts the lonely life of Nirmali, a married pediatrician in her late 30s, who leads a peaceful but joyless domestic existence in Guwahati. Her husband, a senior doctor, spends most of his time doing relief work in surrounding areas, leaving her alone at home to take care of their son. One day, Nirmali comes across Sumon, a young PhD student researching food habits in northeastern India, who warms up to her in a manner she is quite unaccustomed to. 

Sumon's work exposes him to the belief that there's no kind of food that can be considered abnormal, and Nirmali is drawn to this idea. The two quickly discover that they have a shared love for food – specifically, meat. Together, they bond over meals comprising unusual meats on platonic dates, although Sumon longs for some sort of physical contact. As Nirmali's tastebuds grow more adventurous, their relationship takes a dark and bizarre turn.

Hazarika has been a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft and Stephen King – greatest exponents of weird fiction, which are as much about horror as they are about the sickness of the human mind. ‘Aamis’ has that distorted, ghastly way of looking at the world. His debut film ‘Kothanodi’ that interprets Lakshminath Bezbaroa’s folk tales for children into a base, bizarre and gripping world, was crowd funded and filmed in Majuli, the pristine river island. It premiered at Busan to positive reviews and won accolades at IFFI, among other film festivals.

Scripted by Bhaskar Hazarika himself, ‘Aamis’ stars Lima Das, Arghadeep Baruah, Neetali Das, Sagar Saurabh, Manash K. Das, Momee Borah, Chandan Bhuyan, Samarjyoti Sarkar, Utkal Hazowari. The film is produced by Poonam Deol, Shyam Bora, Anshulika Dubey and Priyanka Agarwal. The film is cinematographed by Riju Das, edited by Shweta Rai Chamling and musically composed by Quan Bay. 

‘Aamis’, which has been screened at many reputed film festivals across the world, “will be available to everyone at some point in the next six months,” as informed by Bhaskar Hazarika. The film will also be competing in this year's India Gold section of the 21st Mumbai Film Festival.

Prantik Deka.

Another Feather in Anurag Saikia's Cap

Assam’s one of the most talented composers, Anurag Saikia, who’s had an incredible run in 2018 with his scores for films like ‘Karwaan’, ‘Mulk’ and ‘Highjack’, and more lately with ‘Tum Aaoge’, recently collaborated with F.A.M.E’S - Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra, to create a live orchestra recording on Borgeets by saints Srimanta Sankardeva and Madhavdeva through Bohemia Junction Limited

This is the first ever symphonic recording done from Assam in such a big scale. Saikia hopes that his creation will be appreciated world-over.

Born and brought up in Assam, Saikia is one of the youngest composers to be awarded with the National Film Award for ‘Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction’ for the film ‘Yugadrashta’. He has also received other prestigious awards such as Big Music award, Prag Cine award, Radio Gupshup award, etc.

F.A.M.E’S - Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra was founded in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia in 2009 that consists of the best orchestral musicians - the majority of whom have international experience in European and American orchestras. This orchestra has helped in creating scores for Bollywood musicians Vishal and Shekhar and world-famous composer A.R. Rahman. 

Bohemia Junction Limited is the exclusive representative of F.A.M.E’S, and their Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra for India.

Prantik Deka

September 13, 2019

Kanchanjangha’s Box Office Collection Report, 2.90 Crore in 1st Week

Much anticipated Assamese film Kanchanjangha has emerged as a successful film at box office as film has hold strong on its opening day. The exact figure of Kanchanjangha’s collection over the first week has come out. 

Zubeen Garg himself revealed the exact figure of the first week’s collection on his official Facebook page.

Here’s the breakup:

Friday (1st day) - 40 lakh
Saturday (2nd day) - 38.5 lakh

Sunday (3rd day) - 59.1 lakh 
Monday (Fourth Day) - 39.8 lakh
Tuesday (Fifth Day) - 44.5 lakh
Wednesday (Sixth Day) - 35.5 lakh
Thursday (Seventh Day) - 31.4 lakh 

Total - 2.90 crore

Total collection in first week is Rs. 2.90 Crore.

The film has recorded 100% occupancy for day one and day two. Occupancy is excellent considering film face value and budget.

Kanchanjangha is receiving positive response from both critics and audiences. Hence, there is a possibility that the film might see a big jump on next two holidays Saturday (day 8) as well as on Sunday (day 9).

The film is definitely eyeing 4 plus crore net till Monday now. Still, it is early days and we have to wait till the end of next Monday to know exactly where film is heading in the coming days.

September 12, 2019

‘The Man who Speaks Nature’ Now Out on YouTube

The Man who Speaks Nature’, a film by Assamese filmmakers Dhritiman Kakati and Raktim Hazarika, along with Prabal Bora as the production head, is now out on YouTube for public viewing. 

The documentary provides a glimpse into the life and work of Manoj Gogoi, a conservationist based in Kaziranga, who has dedicated his life towards the rescue and rehabilitation of snakes and birds in particular. The movie also attempts to seek the reasons behind his plunge into conservation work and exhibits a peek into the daily work schedule of Gogoi that comes with being a self-styled naturalist known to have rescued and rehabilitated over 4000 species of flora and fauna. 

As Gogoi dwells on the reasons that motivated his work and how it has affected his personal life in the documentary, the film is an effort, therefore, towards showcasing, delicately, the elaborate view of the intersection of the personal and professional space of the determined naturalist.

The film has been screened in many prestigious film festivals. Earlier, ‘The Man Who Speaks Nature’ bagged the Best Film Award at the 5th International Nature Film Awards in Godollo, Hungary, which was held from May 23 to 27 this year. It was also awarded the ‘Second Best Film’ at Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival in 2018.

Prantik Deka.

September 9, 2019

Devoleena Bhattacharjee to Make her Assamese Music Video Debut

Devoleena Bhattacharjee, popularly known as Gopi Bahu in the much-loved Star Plus show ‘Saath Nibhana Saathiya’, will soon make her debut in an Assamese music video. The actress, who hails from Assam and speaks fluent Assamese as well, is currently busy shooting for the song ‘Ramdhenu’, directed by Sachin Baruah, in the picturesque locations of Ladakh. 

"I'm really happy and excited to be starring in an Assamese music video. As I belong to Assam and speak Assamese, I literally enjoyed working with the team", said Devoleena, who took to Instagram to share the news among her followers. 

Devoleena can be seen flaunting her yellow sari against the backdrop of the valleys of Ladakh in the song, which reminds of the popular song ‘Tere mere hothon pe’ from the film ‘Chandni’, where Sridevi is seen dancing in a yellow saree too.

Prantik Deka.